The Latest: Bears’ Khalil Mack makes presence felt

The Latest on the NFL’s first Sunday of the regular season (all times eastern):

8:30 p.m.

It didn’t take long for new Bears linebacker Khalil Mack to get pressure against the Packers.

Mack didn’t start but came in on the fourth play of the game’s opening drive. He got pressure on second-and-10 on Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga on his first play. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw the ball away on third-and-10 and the Packers were forced to punt.

Chicago acquired Mack in a blockbuster trade with Oakland last week.

It was scoreless early in the first quarter.

___

7:55 p.m.

Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker has been carted off the field after hurting his lower right leg, the third key starter the Titans have lost in a lightning-delayed game against Miami.

Walker caught a 15-yard pass and hurt his right leg when T.J. McDonald tackled him late in the fourth quarter. A trainer covered Walker’s leg with a towel, and a cart quickly was brought out.

The Titans already had lost two-time Pro Bowl Taylor Lewan to a concussion and quarterback Marcus Mariota was sidelined by an injured elbow.

___

6:55 p.m.

The Titans and Miami Dolphins are playing again after their second delay for lightning in the area, and the injuries are adding up for Tennessee.

The teams have had two separate delays combining for 3 hours, 59 minutes before resuming the third quarter with 6:47 left at 6:55 p.m. in a game that kicked off at 1 p.m. local time.

Fox-TV announced on the broadcast that it was providing limited coverage due to lightning in the area when the game resumed.

Tennessee resumed without two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan because of a concussion.

The delay didn’t help Marcus Mariota whose pass was intercepted by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso on the first play after restarting. The Titans replaced him with Blaine Gabbert for the next series, and Mariota is questionable to return with an injured elbow.

This already is the longest NFL game since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger before play resumed for the second time.

___

6:45 p.m.

Tyreek Hill has scored three touchdowns for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hill scored on a 1-yard shovel pass from Patrick Mahomes after Los Angeles’ JJ Jones fumbled a punt deep in Chargers’ territory. Hill also has touchdowns via a punt return and another reception has opened up a 38-20 lead on the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth quarter.

He also has 168 receiving yards, the second most by a Chiefs receiver in an opener according to Pro Football Reference. Carlos Carson had 173 against New Orleans in 1985.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

___

6:38 p.m.

The Dolphins-Titans game is now the longest since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. And they haven’t even resumed play yet following a second delay for lightning.

The game started at 1 p.m. and was halted for nearly two hours late in the first half. The second delay midway through the second quarter also has lasted almost two hours.

The longest previous game since 1970 was a Bears overtime victory against the Ravens in 2013 that took 5 hours, 16 minutes.

Players have started to return to the field. The Dolphins lead 7-3.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

___

6:37 p.m.

Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin has been ruled of the second half against the Denver Broncos with a right knee injury.

Baldwin was hurt late in the first quarter when a Denver player he was attempting to block rolled over his leg. He walked off under his own power and came back briefly before leaving the game for the day.

Baldwin missed all of August with a left knee injury but returned for the season opener. He was targeted on one play Sunday but had no catches before leaving in the first half.

___

6:28 p.m.

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has returned to the sideline in street clothes and is on crutches with his right foot in a boot.

It’s the same foot that Olsen broke last year, costing him to miss nine games.

It’s unclear the extent of the injury.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina.

___

5:25 p.m.

Panthers three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen has been taken to the locker room in the second quarter with a foot injury.

The team has announced he will not return.

Olsen missed nine games with a Jones fracture in his foot last year.

Olsen had been questionable coming into the game with a back injury. He left after two receptions for 33 yards.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

___

4:55 p.m.

There’s another lightning delay stopping the game between the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.

Their game was stopped for one hour, 57 minutes with 71 seconds left in the first half before play resumed. Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler just intercepted Ryan Tannehill in the end zone and ran the ball back to the Tennessee 32. Officials then stopped play with 6:47 left in the third and Miami up 7-3.

The Dolphins walked slowly off the field.

The stoppage might cool things down. The stoppage came only a few plays after three players received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taunting as a result of a fracas between the Dolphins and Titans, which began after Tennessee tackle Taylor Lewan appeared to be knocked out briefly.

Lewan was hurt at the end of interception return by Reshad Jones in the third quarter. Lewan was running toward the sideline when he was hit to the ground. The Titans and Dolphins traded shoves and taunts.

Penalized were Jordan Phillips and Bobby McCain of Miami, and Dion Lewis of Tennessee. The penalties offset. Lewan went to the locker room.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

___

4:40 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers right tackle Joe Barksdale has been carted back to the locker room with a knee injury.

Barksdale suffered the injury near the end of the Chargers’ third offensive drive of the first quarter. He is questionable to return.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

___

4:35 p.m.

Patrick Mahomes has thrown his first touchdown pass as Kansas City’s starter, giving the Chiefs a 14-3 lead over the Los Angeles Chargers.

With a big helping hand from Tyreek Hill on his second TD of the game.

Mahomes threw a short pass to Hill, who went 57 yards for the score. Hill caught the pass at the Chargers 47 and eluded a diving tackle by Jahleel Addae as he found a seam up the left sideline. It is Hill’s second touchdown of the first quarter after he had a 91-yard punt return.

Mahomes, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, was 3 for 3 for 68 yards.

___

4:30 p.m.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is back in the game after leaving for a play early in the third quarter against the Dolphins.

Mariota appeared to injure his right hand when hit by defensive lineman William Hayes after handing off. Mariota was treated by a trainer, walked off the field and was replaced by Blaine Gabbert with Miami leading 7-3. Gabbert threw incomplete on third down. Mariota returned for the start of the Titans’ next series, and he was intercepted.

That was the second of injuries over three plays for Tennessee. Adoree Jackson hurt his right shoulder at the end of a punt return out near midfield and went to the locker room. Jackson is questionable to return.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

___

4:15 p.m.

The Kansas City Chiefs put up their first points of the season very quickly.

Tyreek Hill took a Drew Kaser punt 91 yards for a touchdown just a minute and 57 seconds into their opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill fielded the punt near the right hash mark, then quickly found an opening near the left sideline and was gone. It is Hill’s fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games over three seasons.

The Chiefs lead the NFL in punt returns for TDs since 2013 with seven.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

___

4:10 p.m.

It didn’t take long for the Kansas City Chiefs to get their first points of the season. Tyreek Hill took a Drew Kaser punt 91 yards for a touchdown a minute and 57 seconds into their opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill fielded the punt near the right hashmark but quickly found an opening near the left sideline and was gone. It is Hill’s fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games over three seasons.

The Chiefs lead the league in punt returns since 2013 with seven.

4:10 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins finally are getting back to their game in full sunshine after a nearly 2-hour delay for lightning in the area.

Officials suspended the game at 2:13 p.m. ET with 1:11 left in the first half and the Titans on offense. Miami has a 7-3 lead.

The teams were poised to return after only an hour only to have lightning in the area push back the restart until 4:10 p.m.

The opener for the NFL season featured a 45-minute delay to the first kickoff between the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia.

Weather in Charlotte also has pushed back the opening kickoff between Carolina and the Dallas Cowboys. Kickoff has been pushed back 10 minutes until 4:35 p.m.

___

3:30 p.m.

It’s already Josh Allen time for the Buffalo Bills.

Nathan Peterman has been pulled from his third NFL start after failing to mount any offense for the Bills against the Baltimore Ravens.

Peterman was yanked with Baltimore leading 40-0 in the third quarter. He was 5 for 18 for 24 yards with two interceptions.

He was replaced by Allen, the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft. The Bills traded up five spots to draft him at the highest spot Buffalo has ever selected a quarterback.

Allen drove the Bills for a field goal on his second series.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

___

3:20 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas will start against the Denver Broncos just four days after ending his holdout after it failed to produce a new contract or a trade.

Thomas made it through his first week of practice with no issues after holding out of training camp while seeking an extension or a trade. His deal expires after the 2018 season.

He’ll start in place of Tedric Thompson at free safety.

The Seahawks activated Thomas to their 53-man roster Saturday when they placed cornerback Dontae Johnson on injured reserve. He hurt his groin during practice last week.

Johnson was expected to start at right cornerback. The Seahawks didn’t announce who would start in his place, rookie Tre Flowers or veteran Neiko Thorpe.

— AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver

___

3:19 p.m.

New England Patriots running back Jeremy Hill has been ruled out against Houston after suffering a knee injury early in the second half.

Hill’s injury occurred on a second-down play with 12:09 remaining in the third quarter that ended in a Patriots’ turnover, with tight end Rob Gronkowski fumbling the ball near midfield after reeling in a 25-yard catch from Tom Brady.

He was helped off the field and evaluated in the medical tent before returning to the locker room. He had four carries for 25 yards and was credited with a partial punt block late in the first half.

The 25-year-old joined the Patriots in free agency this past offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons with Cincinnati.

New England led 21-6 at the time of Hill’s injury.

___

3:12 p.m.

Never one to shy away from a fashion statement, Panthers QB Cam Newton wore brown cleats with a silver “sheriff’s star,” taking on a very old Western theme during pre-game warmups against the Cowboys.

Newton can’t wear the cleats during the game, but is allowed to wear what he wants to pre-game warmups.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

___

3:05 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins are expected to resume their game after a 77-minute delay because of lightning in the area.

The teams went to their locker rooms while play was suspended with Miami leading 7-3. First, the game was expected to be resumed at 3:10 p.m., and that now has been pushed back to 3:32 p.m. local time.

The game will resume with 1:11 left in the first half and the Titans on offense. Halftime is to be shortened to 6½ minutes.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

___

3:00 p.m.

Joe Flacco has just thrown his third touchdown pass, and he’s made sure to hit each of the free agent receivers the Ravens signed during the offseason.

Willie Snead caught a 13-yarder in the third quarter to make it 33-0 over Buffalo. Flacco previously connected with newcomers John Brown and Michael Crabtree.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

___

2:55 p.m.

For the first time in franchise history, the Carolina Panthers have their team logo painted at midfield of Bank of America Stadium.

New owner David Tepper made the decision to use the Panthers black and blue logo after purchasing the team in July from Jerry Richardson, the team’s founder and first owner.

The Panthers always had the NFL “shield” at midfield —per Richardson’s orders— since they began play as an expansion franchise in 1995.

The Panthers host the Cowboys in their season opener.

— Steve Reed reporting in Charlotte, North Carolina

___

2:30 p.m.

Andrew Luck’s first half was just about as good as it can get after throwing an interception on his first official pass.

The Colts quarterback finished the half 20 of 25 with 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Plus, he marched the Colts 43 yards in 1 minute, 42 seconds to set up Adam Vinatieri for his third goal of the half, a 51-yarder, to give Indy a 16-10 lead.

Luck is back after missing more than 20 months with an injured shoulder.

Vinatieri needs four more field goals to break Morten Andersen’s league record of 565.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis

___

2:15 p.m.

Weather has delayed another NFL game, this time in Miami between the Tennessee Titans and Dolphins.

The game was suspended with 1:11 left in the second quarter because of lightning in the area. The teams went to the locker room — with the sun shining. Rain fell earlier, and there was also thunder in the area. Miami led 7-3.

Weather delayed kickoff 45 minutes for the season opener Thursday night between the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta in Philadelphia.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

____

1:55 p.m.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has a hamstring injury.

Fournette already has nine carries for 41 yards, and he led Jacksonville last season as a rookie with 1,040 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.

He caught a pass on the play before the Jaguars’ last series and was being stretched out on the sideline when the Giants had the ball.

— Tom Canavan reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey

___

1:55 p.m.

Panthers three-time tight end Greg Olsen (back) appears to be ready for Carolina’s game with the Dallas Cowboys.

Olsen was added to the team’s injury report on Saturday after practicing full all week. Asked Sunday if he expects Olsen to play, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney replied “as far as I know.”

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

___

1:50 p.m.

Houston Texans right tackle Seantrel Henderson has left the game against New England with a left ankle injury.

Patriots defensive lineman Keionta Davis landed on Henderson’s ankle while trying to rush quarterback Deshaun Watson. Henderson was tended to on the field for a few minutes and then walked off under his own power.

After the training staff looked at him on the sideline, Henderson was helped onto a cart, hopping on his right leg, and driven into the tunnel beneath the stands.

It was a few plays after Houston defensive lineman Christian Covington needed medical attention. He is questionable to return with a thigh injury, according to the Texans.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

___

1:40 p.m.

Kirk Cousins has thrown his 100th career touchdown pass and his first for the Minnesota Vikings.

The new quarterback found Stefon Diggs in single coverage by San Francisco cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon on a fade route on third-and-3 from 22 yards out in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The ball was perfectly placed along the edge of the end zone to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead over the 49ers.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with Washington. He signed a three-year, $84 million, fully guaranteed contract with Minnesota in March.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis

___

1:26 p.m.

Andrew Luck is getting off to a bit of a rocky start in his return for the Indianapolis Colts.

After receiving a loud ovation during introductions, Luck made it onto the field for his first regular-season series in more than 20 months at the Bengals 7.

It didn’t last long.

Following a first-down run, rookie guard Quenton Nelson was called for a hold. On second-and-14 from the Bengals 14, Luck was picked off by linebacker Preston Brown on his first official pass since returning from shoulder surgery.

It got worse. Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams has been ejected after making a helmet to helmet hit on Luck. The Colts quarterback ran for 7 yards before being hit in the head by Williams while being tackled.

Luck did not leave the game.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.

___

1:05 p.m.

The Ravens and Bills kicked off a new season on a wet field.

It’s been raining in the Baltimore area all weekend, at times heavily. Throw in a stiff wind and temperatures dipping below 60 degrees, and it’s as if this game was taking place in the middle of the season.

The Ravens are seeking to improve their record in openers under coach John Harbaugh to 8-3. Baltimore has won 18 of its last 20 home games in September.

This is the third career start for Buffalo quarterback Nathan Peterman, who enters with a career QB rating of 38.4.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore.

___

1:10 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are the only NFL players seen kneeling during the national anthem of early games in protest of police brutality and social injustice.

Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist, and San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised his right arm with fist clenched during the anthem in New Orleans.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr. stood during the national anthem after staying in the locker room for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the preseason before playing the New York Giants.

Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews also was on the sideline after staying in the tunnel or locker room during the anthem much of last season.

___10:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted his disapproval of the NFL on Sunday morning before the first full slate of games.

The president has criticized players for their demonstrations protesting social injustice during the national anthem, and the league for not requiring players to be on the sideline at attention when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played.

He made reference to lower ratings on NBC in Thursday night’s season opener in which Super Bowl champion Philadelphia beat Atlanta 18-12.

“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison,” Trump tweeted. “Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”

The NFL unilaterally passed a policy requiring players to stand at attention for the anthem or to stay in the locker room or in the tunnel under the stands. When that policy met with heavy criticism, it was put on hold while the league and players’ association discussed other options. Those discussions are continuing.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Reports: Seahawks to sign DT Woods

Reports: Seahawks to sign DT Woods

Reports: Seahawks to sign DT Woods

On the same day the Seattle Seahawks officially announced the signing of defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, the team also reportedly plans to add veteran defensive tackle Al Woods.

Woods’ agency, SportsTrustAdvisors, posted news of the agreement on Twitter on Friday, with NFL Network reporting a deal to be signed that could be worth up to $2.5 million for next season.

Woods, 32, a captain last season with the Indianapolis Colts, has played for five NFL teams in his nine seasons in the league. That includes a two-game stint he spent with the Seahawks in his second year in 2011.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds, Woods is known as a bulky run-stopper in the middle of the defensive line. He recorded 24 tackles in 14 games (eight starts) last season with the Colts.

Originally a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of LSU by the New Orleans Saints, who cut him before the season began, Woods has played for Tampa Bay (2010), Seattle (2011), Pittsburgh (2012-13), Tennessee (2014-16) and Indianapolis (2017-18).

He has 172 tackles and 4.5 sacks in his nine-year career.

–Field Level Media

Read More 122 Words

Wrong shoes hurt Cards’ Murray at minicamp debut

Wrong shoes hurt Cards' Murray at minicamp debut

If quarterback Kyler Murray's first

Wrong shoes hurt Cards’ Murray at minicamp debut

If quarterback Kyler Murray’s first day of rookie minicamp with the Arizona Cardinals didn’t start so smoothly, he has an excuse: It must be the shoes.

“My feet hurt a little bit,” Murray said. “It’s been a long time since I put cleats on. I’ve been running around. The cleats were pretty new.”

Murray was missing his usual cleats, which weren’t delivered to the practice facility in time for the start of minicamp, so the backup pair didn’t have a comfortable feel.

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury expects the proper pair to arrive for Saturday’s practice, so he wasn’t too worried about Murray’s quick feet. He basically liked what he saw Friday of the Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma.

“Not bad,” Kliff Kingsbury said of Murray’s on-field debut. “Some familiarity with the system helps. He can really throw it. He’s got a presence about himself. I liked how he operated.”

The No. 1 overall draft pick who on Thursday signed his rookie contract, a four-year deal worth $35.1 million fully guaranteed, can buy all the shoes he wants now.

“It was good finally touching the field again,” Murray said. “A lot of this process has been just a lot of talk and evaluation and stuff like that. Just to actually be able to play football again, get out here with the guys and do what you love, it was fun.”

Other than the shoe issue, he was pleased with how the first day went, saying “it was great” to work with Kingsbury.

“Obviously, it’s only been day one, but I can already feel the rhythm going,” Murray added. “Hopefully, we can keep this thing going and do something good, do something great.”

Kingsbury, who began recruiting Murray during the quarterback’s sophomore year in high school, finally has the man he has wanted to coach.

“He’s been born and bred to do this. I’ve said it all along,” Kingsbury said Friday. “That’s his mentality. That’s what he’s always expected to do and be. So he’s kind of living it out right now. It might affect other people, but it doesn’t seem to affect him.”

With Murray jumping in feet first, there’s no telling how far he’ll take the Cardinals.

–Field Level Media

Read More 316 Words

Jets’ Gase: RB Bell will be at mandatory minicamp

Jets' Gase: RB Bell will be at mandatory minicamp

Despite raising eyebrows

Jets’ Gase: RB Bell will be at mandatory minicamp

Despite raising eyebrows in the New York media by skipping voluntary team workouts two months after signing a contract with $27 million guaranteed, new Jets running back Le’Veon Bell intends to participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp in June.

According to the New York Daily News, head coach Adam Gase confirmed Friday that his star free agent pickup said he plans to show up when the Jets convene on a mandatory basis from June 4-6.

“We had a conversation about what was kind of his schedule,” Gase said. “We’ll kind of see how the (organized team activities) go. As of right now, I know the mandatory stuff … he said he was going to be here for that. So I don’t expect him to not show up.”

Bell preferred his Miami-area digs for offseason training as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, including his full year spent in relative exile as a holdout.

The Daily News on Friday characterized the Jets as not “particularly pleased” that Bell, 27, has not shown up for the voluntary portion of the Jets’ offseason schedule, despite most other veterans attending. Earlier this week the former Steelers Pro Bowler explained why he preferred to work out on his own at this time of the year.

“When it’s time to play football…” Bell wrote on Instagram. “I got to stick to the formula that I know works for me to be the best player I can be…I’m not just tryna win football games, I want a ring. I want to desperately show everybody what I can REALLY do…I’ll take the heat right now, everybody will forget about that once January comes around.”

His new coach tried to downplay the situation on Friday.

“It’s voluntary,” Gase said. “Everybody can get upset about it. There’s no point. We know where he is. He’s working out. He’s always been ready. Every year that he’s played, he’s been ready to go. So that’s just what it is. If somebody doesn’t like it, then talk to the NFLPA.”

–Field Level Media

Read More 288 Words

NFL notebook: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

NFL notebook: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Tampa Bay

NFL notebook: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul will miss five to six months as a best-case scenario due to the broken neck he suffered in a car accident last week, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters on Friday.

A decision on whether Pierre-Paul will need neck surgery hasn’t yet been reached. “Very unfortunate,” Arians said of the situation. “All we can do is just pray and hope for the best and hope it’s one of those five- or six-month things and go from there.”

Pierre-Paul was injured in the early morning hours of May 2 when he lost control of his Ferrari and it veered off the road and crashed into a concrete barrier. It was raining at the time of the accident, according to the crash report. Pierre-Paul was not ticketed at the scene.

The loss of Pierre-Paul would be a big blow as even the hopeful scenario outlined by Arians would have him missing six to 10 games. Not having him at all in 2019 is also possible. Pierre-Paul had a team-best 12.5 sacks last season, his first with the Bucs after playing eight years for the New York Giants.

–If quarterback Kyler Murray’s first day of rookie minicamp with the Arizona Cardinals didn’t start so smoothly, he has an excuse: It must be the shoes. Murray was missing his usual cleats, which weren’t delivered to the practice facility in time for the start of minicamp.

“My feet hurt a little bit,” Murray said. “It’s been a long time since I put cleats on. I’ve been running around. The cleats were pretty new.”

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury expects the proper pair to arrive by Saturday’s practice, so he wasn’t too worried about Murray’s quick feet. Other than the shoe issue, Murray was happy with his first day, saying “it was great” to work with Kingsbury.

–Despite raising eyebrows in the New York media by skipping voluntary team workouts two months after signing a contract with $27 million guaranteed, new Jets running back Le’Veon Bell intends to participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp in June.

Per the New York Daily News, coach Adam Gase confirmed that his star free agent pickup said he will show up when the Jets convene on a mandatory basis from June 4-6. Bell liked his Miami-area digs for offseason training as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, including his full year spent in relative exile as a holdout.

The Daily News on Friday characterized the Jets as not “particularly pleased” that Bell, 27, has not shown up for the voluntary portion of the Jets’ offseason schedule, despite most other veterans attending.

–Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, who has 48 career sacks, officially signed one-year, $9 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

The signing of Ansah figures to help make up for the departure of Frank Clark, who was recently dealt to the Kansas City Chiefs after leading the team with 13 sacks last season. Defensive end Nate Orchard was released to open a roster spot for Ansah. The four-year veteran was signed by Seattle last month.

Coming off shoulder surgery after missing nine games in 2018, Ansah expects to be cleared by mid-August, according to the NFL Network. Ansah, who turns 30 on May 29, had four sacks and seven quarterback hits in seven games (two starts) while playing on the franchise tag ($17.1 million) for Detroit last season.

–The New England Patriots agreed to terms with receiver Dontrelle Inman on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

Inman, 30, caught 28 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in nine games for the Indianapolis Colts last season. Inman’s best season came in 2016, when he established career highs of 58 receptions, 810 yards and four touchdowns for the then-San Diego Chargers.

Inman played for the Chargers from 2014-17 — including four games in 2017 after the move to Los Angeles — and also played for the Chicago Bears (eight games in 2017). He has 158 career receptions for 2,101 yards and 11 scores in 58 games (34 starts).

–Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kendell Beckwith will miss a second consecutive season after being placed on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Beckwith missed 2018 after having surgery to repair a broken ankle suffered in a single-car accident near his home in Louisiana. According to ESPN, there are fears his injury could be career-ending. He returned to practice late last season, but after three weeks, the team declined to add him to the active roster.

Beckwith, 24, played in all 16 games (11 starts) as a rookie third-round pick in 2017, collecting 73 tackles, two passes defensed and a sack. His NFL debut was his first in-game action since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in November 2016 during his senior season at LSU.

–Field Level Media

Read More 719 Words

Kang ties course record with 61, leads Nelson by 4

Kang ties course record with 61, leads Nelson by 4

Kang ties course record with 61, leads Nelson by 4

Competitors awoke Friday to an unusual situation at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas: sweater weather.

It didn’t matter to Sung Kang, the South Korean who now lives in nearby Coppell, Texas. He shot a 10-under 61 at Trinity Forest Golf Club in the second round to tie the course record set last year by Marc Fleishman the first time the course played host to the tournament.

Kang — still seeking his first win on the PGA Tour — holds the lead after two rounds at 16-under 126, getting some serious breathing room from his nearest competitors, Matt Every and Tyler Duncan, who are at 12 under.

“It’s like perfect and awesome,” Kang said of the cool and sometimes windy day at the wide-open course. “Nice conditions for a low score.”

Kang admitted that 59, the PGA record for a round, did cross his mind, but he chose to play conservatively down the stretch rather than risk giving some shots back to the field.

“Conditions were so hard, you try to force it and the course is playing so tough out there,” he said. “So, just try to get the opportunity, probably try to hit it within 15 feet and if I make the putt, good. If I don’t, make par and get me going.

“I still think it was a great round.”

Kang played a bogey-free round, birdieing the opening hole and closing out the front nine with five straight birdies. He made it six in a row with a birdie on No. 10. He birdied all three of the course’s par-5s.

The weather seemed to be a bigger issue for many players.

At least Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who is at 6-under 136 and tied for 17th, was ready for it.

“Had four layers on and felt a little bit like the Michelin Man,” he said after shooting a 2-under 69.

Dallas native Jordan Spieth was not. He had to call his wife and have her deliver some cool-weather gear after he got a dose of the conditions on the practice range.

“No excuses if you’re in your hometown,” he told reporters with a smile.

Spieth mixed seven birdies with a bogey and double bogey to finish the day 4 under. He is at 7 under through two rounds, in a tie for 10th.

Brooks Koepka is at 11 under after a 66 on Friday. Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini rounds out the top five, alone at 10 under after firing a 65.

–Field Level Media

Read More 352 Words

Ansah officially signs with Seahawks

Ansah officially signs with Seahawks

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah officially signed

Ansah officially signs with Seahawks

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah officially signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday.

Ansah, who has 48 career sacks, reportedly received a one-year, $9 million contract.

“I’m super excited,” Ansah told the team website after signing his contract. “This is a great team. The caliber of players who have been through here, they have a great coach out here, the environment, the organization, it’s just great. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

The signing of Ansah figures to help make up for the departure of Frank Clark, who was recently dealt to the Kansas City Chiefs after leading the team with 13 sacks last season..

Coming off of shoulder surgery after missing nine games in 2018, Ansah is expected to be cleared by mid-August, according to the NFL Network.

Ansah, who will turn 30 on May 29, had four sacks and seven quarterback hits in seven games (two starts) while playing on the franchise tag ($17.1 million) for the Detroit Lions last season, after posting 12 and 17, respectively, in 2017.

His best season came in 2015, when he had 14.5 sacks and 34 QB hits while earning his only Pro Bowl nod.

Drafted fifth overall by Detroit in 2013, Ansah has 110 quarterback hits in six NFL seasons.

The change of scenery appeals to Ansah.

“I am really motivated right now,” Ansah said. “Not that I wasn’t motivated before, but I’m just super excited to be part of the Seahawks.”

Defensive end Nate Orchard was released to open a roster spot for Ansah. The four-year veteran was signed by Seattle last month.

Orchard has five sacks in 38 NFL games for the Cleveland Browns (2015-17), Buffalo Bills (2018) and Kansas City Chiefs (2018).

–Field Level Media

Read More 216 Words

Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul will miss five to six months as a best-case scenario due to the broken neck he suffered in a car accident last week.

The best-case scenario was provided by coach Bruce Arians on Friday, when he met with reporters. A decision on whether Pierre-Paul will need neck surgery hasn’t yet been reached.

“Very unfortunate,” Arians said of the situation. “All we can do is just pray and hope for the best and hope it’s one of those five- or six-month things and go from there.”

Pierre-Paul was injured in the early morning hours of May 2 when he lost control of his Ferrari and it veered off the road and crashed into a concrete barrier. It was raining at the time of the accident, according to the crash report.

Pierre-Paul was not ticketed at the scene.

The loss of Pierre-Paul would be a big blow as even the best-case scenario outlined by Arians would have him missing six to 10 games. Not having him at all in 2019 is possible if the timetable worsens.

Pierre-Paul had a team-best 12.5 sacks last season, his first with the Bucs after playing eight years for the New York Giants. The 12.5 sacks tied for his second most behind the 16.5 he had for New York in 2011.

Pierre-Paul has faced adversity before as he was involved in a fireworks accident on July 4, 2015. He lost a finger and part of a second and played in just eight games in the 2015 season.

Arians is still pondering how the Buccaneers would replace Pierre-Paul.

“I don’t know what the answer is yet, if he’s gonna play, if he’s not gonna play,” Arians said. “(You) just practice with the guys you have, just like if anybody else gets hurt, on the field or off the field. You march on.”

–Field Level Media

Read More 251 Words

Romo misses cut at Byron Nelson

Romo misses cut at Byron Nelson

Tony

Romo misses cut at Byron Nelson

Tony Romo was happy with Friday’s 3-over 74 but the round didn’t prevent him from missing the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.

Romo shot 8-over 150 in 36 holes in his third PGA Tour event, all due to sponsor’s exemptions.

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback said he was encouraged by his trek around the course on Friday.

“I think more than anything, I got a sense to be able to hit a lot of high-quality shots under what is a pressure situation for me,” Romo told reporters. “That’s encouraging and shows that the work you’re doing holds up when it counts. And from there, you just got to find the little things that allow you to keep things going and not derail a round. Just small stuff, technique-wise, but we’re coming on.”

Romo shot three birdies, four bogeys and one double-bogey during the second round. He hit nine of 14 fairways.

He felt he performed better than Thursday, when he shot 76 despite recording an eagle-3 on the par-5, seventh hole.

“I hit so many good shots today,” Romo said after Friday’s round. “I mean, I kind of know that the driver is going to be the ability to go low because you have to put yourself in position to attack the pins consistently. I think you found the next step of what we’re going to be working on (with the driver). I think it’s more just your ability to keep your misses small. Out here, golf is a game of misses.”

–Field Level Media

Read More 201 Words

Bucs LB Beckwith to miss second straight season

Bucs LB Beckwith to miss second straight season

Bucs LB Beckwith to miss second straight season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kendell Beckwith will miss a second consecutive season after being placed on the reserve/non-football injury list on Friday.

Beckwith missed last season after having surgery to repair a fractured ankle suffered in a single-car accident near his home in Louisiana.

According to ESPN, there are fears Beckwith’s ankle injury could be career-ending. He returned to the practice field late last season, but after three weeks the team declined to add him to the active roster.

Beckwith, 24, played in all 16 games (11 starts) as a rookie third-round pick in 2017, collecting 73 tackles, two passes defensed and a sack. His NFL debut was his first in-game action since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in November of 2016 during his senior season at LSU.

–Field Level Media

Read More 79 Words

Report: Patriots agree to deal with WR Inman

Report: Patriots agree to deal with WR Inman

The New England

Report: Patriots agree to deal with WR Inman

The New England Patriots agreed to terms with receiver Dontrelle Inman on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

Inman reportedly visited the Patriots on Friday and the deal was consummated during his stay.

Inman, 30, caught 28 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in nine games for the Indianapolis Colts last season.

Inman’s best season came in 2016 when he established career highs of 58 receptions, 810 yards and four touchdowns for the San Diego Chargers.

Inman played for the Chargers from 2014-17 — including four games in 2017 after the move to Los Angeles — and also played for the Chicago Bears (eight games in 2017).

He has 158 career receptions for 2,101 yards and 11 scores in 58 games (34 starts).

–Field Level Media

Read More 63 Words

Reports: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

Reports: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

The Miami Dolphins will make

Reports: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

The Miami Dolphins will make Xavien Howard the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $76.5 million extension, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The deal reportedly includes $46 million in guarantees and $51 million over the first three seasons. Howard, 25, was set to earn $1.3 million in 2019, the final year of a four-year, $6.12 million rookie contract.

Washington’s Josh Norman was previously the NFL’s highest-paid corner at $15 million annually, signing a five-year, $75 million deal in April 2016 after the Carolina Panthers rescinded his franchise tag. Norman’s deal included $36.5 million in guarantees.

A second-round pick (38th overall) by the Dolphins out of Baylor in 2016, Howard tied for the league lead with seven interceptions last season despite missing the final four games to injury, earning the first Pro Bowl nod of his career. He had four interceptions in 2017 and has 31 career pass breakups in 35 games (34 starts).

Various reports earlier this offseason suggested Howard could be traded for the right price, as the Dolphins entered a rebuild under new head coach Brian Flores. Instead, the new deal puts him under contract through 2024.

–Field Level Media

Read More 123 Words

Rookie signings: Cardinals’ Murray inks $35.1M deal

Rookie signings: Cardinals' Murray inks $35.1M deal

Rookie signings: Cardinals’ Murray inks $35.1M deal

Arizona Cardinals quarterback and No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray signed his rookie contract on Thursday, a four-year deal worth $35.1 million fully guaranteed. Like all first-round pacts, it includes a fifth-year team option.

Murray repaid a $4.66 million signing bonus to the Oakland A’s and, according to The MMQB, turned down more than $18 million in guarantees from the A’s when he announced his full commitment to football instead of baseball. His deal with the Cardinals includes a $23.59 million signing bonus and will count $6.39 million against the cap in 2019.

“This is just the beginning,” Murray told the team’s website. “I plan to work as hard as I can, lead this team to a lot of wins and, hopefully, a lot of rings.”

The Cardinals also signed five other rookie draft picks to four-year deals: CB Byron Murphy (second round), DE Zach Allen (third), WR KeeSean Johnson (seventh), OL Joshua Miles (seventh) and TE Caleb Wilson (seventh).

–The Washington Redskins signed 15th overall pick Dwayne Haskins to his rookie contract, worth $14.4 million over four years with a fifth-year team option.

Haskins was the first quarterback to sign in the first round, hours before the Cardinals announced Murray.

Washington also signed seven other picks to four-year deals: RB Bryce Love (fourth round), OLs Wes Martin (fourth) and Ross Pierschbacher (fourth), LB Cole Holcomb (fifth), WR Kelvin Harmon (sixth), CB Jimmy Moreland (seventh) and OLB Jordan Brailford (seventh).

–The Detroit Lions signed first-round tight end T.J. Hockenson to his rookie contract, which is worth $19.8 million over four years with a fifth-year team option.

Detroit took Hockenson eighth overall last month, making him the first tight end drafted in the top 10 since the Lions took Eric Ebron 10th overall in 2014.

The Lions also signed second-round LB Jahlani Tavai and fifth-round cornerback Amani Oruwariye to four-year deals.

–The Buffalo Bills signed first-round defensive tackle Ed Oliver to his rookie contract, which is worth $19.6 million over four years with a fifth-year team option.

Buffalo took Oliver ninth overall last month.

The team also signed six other draft picks — OT Cody Ford (second round), RB Devin Singletary (third), LB Vosean Joseph (fifth), S Jaquan Johnson (sixth), DE Darryl Johnson (seventh) and TE Tommy Sweeney (seventh) — to four-year deals, leaving TE Dawson Knox (third) as the only unsigned pick in the class.

–The Miami Dolphins signed five draft picks, including first-round defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Taken 13th overall, Wilkins’ deal is worth $15.4 million over four years, with a fifth-year team option.

Signed to four-year deals were: LB Andrew Van Ginkel (fifth round), OT Isaiah Prince (sixth) and RBs Chandler Cox (seventh) and Myles Gaskin (seventh).

–The Philadelphia Eagles signed their full five-man draft class, led by first-round offensive tackle Andre Dillard.

Dillard, the 22nd overall pick, will make $12.33 million over four years, with a fifth-year team option.

Signed to four-year deals were: RB Miles Sanders (second round), WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (second), DE Shareef Miller (fourth) and QB Clayton Thorson (fifth).

–The Houston Texans signed first-round offensive tackle Tytus Howard to a four-year deal worth $12.3 million, according to the Houston Chronicle, plus a fifth-year team option.

Howard was drafted 23rd overall.

According to the report, Houston also signed fifth-round DE Charles Omenihu and sixth-round CB Xavier Crawford.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed five of their eight draft picks to four-year deals, including second-round cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting.

Also signing were fourth-round DE Anthony Nelson, K Matt Gay (fifth), WR Scotty Miller (sixth) and DE Terry Beckner (seventh).

–The Carolina Panthers signed five of their seven draft picks, including third-round quarterback Will Grier, to four-year deals.

Also signing were fourth-round OLB Christian Miller, RB Jordan Scarlett (fifth), OT Dennis Daley (sixth) and WR Terry Godwin (seventh).

–Field Level Media

Read More 567 Words

Bills backup QB Anderson retires

Bills backup QB Anderson retires

Backup quarterback Derek Anderson,

Bills backup QB Anderson retires

Backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who signed with the Buffalo Bills last October, has decided to retire from the NFL, the team announced Thursday.

“Derek let me know a few weeks back that he wasn’t sure if he could be committed (for the season) and wanted to still think about it,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said in a statement. “So I knew going into the draft that this was something that could potentially happen. But it wasn’t definite. We talked this week and he let me know today that he is going to retire.”

Anderson, 36, a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2005 who began his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns in 2006, appeared in 78 career games, completing 909 of 1,674 passes for 10,878 yards with 60 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.

He led the Browns to a 10-5 record in 2007 — making the Pro Bowl for the only time in his career — then after two more seasons with the Browns, played for the Arizona Cardinals (2010) and Carolina Panthers (2011-17) before joining the Bills.

Last season, he played in only two games with Buffalo (both starts) and completed 42 of 70 passes for 465 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions.

Among the remaining Bills quarterbacks are starter Josh Allen and backups Matt Barkley and Tyree Jackson, an undrafted free agent.

–Field Level Media

Read More 161 Words

McCarthy scorches 63 to lead Byron Nelson by one

McCarthy scorches 63 to lead Byron Nelson by one

McCarthy scorches 63 to lead Byron Nelson by one

Denny McCarthy rebounded from an early setback on Thursday to scorch the final 13 holes at Trinity Forest Golf Club and take a one-stroke lead after one round at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.

McCarthy leads Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge by one stroke after shooting 8-under 63.

World No. 3 Brooks Koepka, the highest-ranked player in the field, is one of nine players tied for fourth place after shooting 65. Nine more are another stroke back at 5 under.

McCarthy, a 26-year-old fifth-year pro seeking his first PGA title, opened with three pars before double-bogeying the par-4 sixth, following a penalty off his tee shot. But he responded by starting an incredible run at No. 6, birdieing five straight holes, eight of nine and 10 of 12 to go 10 under across the final 13 holes.

On greens softened by rain, McCarthy attacked pins with deadly accuracy. All 10 birdie putts came from 18 feet or closer, and six game from within nine feet. He also drained an eight-footer for par at the 18th to cap a 6-under 29 on the back nine.

“I’m not the farthest hitter, so the golf course played somewhat long for me, but I really put some work in on my mid-irons, long irons, so gave me a chance to work on those today,” McCarthy told reporters afterward. “Hit a lot of great ones today.”

McCarthy, who has one Web.com Tour victory, has missed six cuts in 12 PGA Tour tournaments since late January, including last week at the Wells Fargo Championship. His only finish better than 26th this year came when he tied for ninth at the Valspar Championship in March.

“I’ve kind of been looking for a round like this just to kind of get me going,” he said. “I know I can be out here playing with the best, and today kind of showed that. It’s a good start but still have three more days to go.”

Duncan started on the back nine and also had a hot finish, playing his final nine holes at 6 under with the help of an eagle at the par-4 fifth. Hoge had a bogey-free day with seven birdies.

Koepka also started on the back nine and was 6 under through 14 holes before finishing bogey-birdie-birdie-bogey.

“I’m pleased with the way I played,” Koepka said afterward. “What I did there on 6 … just hit a flyer from the middle of the fairway, and 9, didn’t hit a good shot. Other than that, I struck the ball beautifully.”

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo shot 5-over 76 and is tied for 148th in the 155-person field. He opened with a birdie and got as low as 2 under with an eagle at the par-5 seventh, but he double-bogeyed Nos. 9 and 13 before three bogeys in the final four holes.

Defending champion Aaron Wise is tied for 55th after shooting 69.

D.J. Trahan withdrew after eight holes.

–Field Level Media

Read More 423 Words

Seahawks release injured WR Baldwin, S Chancellor

Seahawks release injured WR Baldwin, S Chancellor

Seahawks release injured WR Baldwin, S Chancellor

The Seattle Seahawks officially severed ties with two longtime standouts who are expected to retire due to health concerns, waiving wideout Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor with failed physical designations.

“The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” general manager John Schneider said in a statement. “These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community.

“These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family.”

The news was expected for the 31-year-old Chancellor, who sat out all of last season with a neck injury that was described as career ending.

Baldwin’s playing future was revealed to be in doubt during the draft in late April, when ESPN reported the 30-year-old receiver might have already played his final game, due to an accumulation of injuries.

Baldwin is recovering from three offseason surgeries — on his knee, shoulder and abdomen — after battling nagging injuries throughout the 2018 campaign. Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll appeared to be holding out hope Baldwin could keep playing, before Thursday’s news.

NFL Network reports Baldwin is “leaning toward” retirement, with his release allowing him to keep his signing bonus and possibly future injury-protection money.

An undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2011, Baldwin had 493 catches for 6,563 yards and 49 touchdowns in eight seasons with the Seahawks, reaching the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017 and playing in 123 of a possible 128 games (90 starts). He ranks third in team history in catches and yards and second in receiving touchdowns.

Chancellor was a fifth-round pick by Seattle in 2010 and went on to make four Pro Bowls, intercepting 12 passes and breaking up 44 in 109 career games (93 starts) across eight seasons before missing 2018.

Both players were a part of the Super Bowl XLVIII winning team and the squad that lost Super Bowl XLIV to the New England Patriots a year later.

–Field Level Media

Read More 281 Words

Seahawks sign CB Taylor, FB Bellore

Seahawks sign CB Taylor, FB Bellore

Cornerback Jamar Taylor agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle

Seahawks sign CB Taylor, FB Bellore

Cornerback Jamar Taylor agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.

Taylor, a nickel cornerback, follows defensive end Ziggy Ansah as another potential value find deep into free agency.

Ansah, the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, was due in Seattle on Thursday to a sign a one-year deal that could be worth $8 million. However, Ansah is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and might not be cleared until August.

Taylor, 28, is a former second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins out of Boise State but has bounced around from Miami to the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos, where he ended last season.

The Seahawks lost cornerback Justin Coleman (Detroit Lions) in free agency.

Seattle also announced the signings of fullback Nick Bellore and guard Marcus Martin.

–Field Level Media

Read More 80 Words

NFL notebook: Seahawks officially cut ties with Baldwin, Chancellor

NFL notebook: Seahawks officially cut ties with Baldwin, Chancellor

NFL notebook: Seahawks officially cut ties with Baldwin, Chancellor

The Seattle Seahawks officially severed ties with two longtime standouts who are expected to retire due to health concerns, waiving wideout Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor with failed physical designations.

“The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” general manager John Schneider said in a statement. “These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community.

“These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family.”

The news was expected for the 31-year-old Chancellor, who sat out all of last season with a neck injury that was described as career ending. Baldwin’s playing future was revealed to be in doubt during the draft in late April, when ESPN reported the 30-year-old receiver might have already played his final game, due to an accumulation of injuries.

–Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith said he won’t play the 2019 season for personal reasons, writing on Instagram, “I must take time away from this game & get my world in order.”

A full-time starter the past four seasons and a 2017 Pro Bowler, Smith affirmed he doesn’t plan to play for any team other than the Jaguars, despite rumors of a possible trade. The 28-year-old was set to earn a base salary of $9.75 million this season.

The Jaguars issued a statement, reading, “We will not have a comment about Telvin Smith’s statement at this time. We need to have a conversation with Telvin to understand the situation and the circumstances. If there is a way we can support him we need to understand that.”

–Tight end Benjamin Watson plans to end his short-lived retirement and sign with the team that drafted him, the New England Patriots, multiple media outlets reported.

According to ESPN, Watson will sign a one-year, $3 million deal.

Watson, 38, was drafted 32nd overall by the Patriots in 2004. He played six seasons in New England, followed by three in Cleveland, and spent four of the last five in New Orleans.

–The Carolina Panthers will receive $120 million in tax breaks if they move their facility to South Carolina, after the state’s Senate approved a bill by a 27-15 vote.

Under the bill, which Gov. Henry McMaster is expected to sign, the Panthers would be exempt from paying state income taxes for players, coaches and other employees for 15 years, assuming that money is used toward a new complex in South Carolina.

Currently based in Charlotte, N.C., the team has been planning a 200-acre development in Rock Hill, S.C., about 25 miles south of its current facilities next to Bank of America Stadium, though it will continue to play games in Charlotte.

–The Miami Dolphins signed former Buffalo Bills tackle Jordan Mills to a one-year deal, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported is worth $3 million.

Mills, 28, started all 48 games over the past three seasons and has appeared in 87 games (82 starts) for the Chicago Bears (2013-14) and Bills (2015-18).

Mills played 95.5 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps (1,011 total) at right tackle last season and was penalized five times — three for holding and two false starts.

–The Jaguars released backup quarterback Cody Kessler and linebacker Blair Brown.

Kessler, who turns 26 on Saturday, was 2-2 as a starter for Jacksonville last season. He completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 709 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Brown was a fifth-round pick in 2017. He has 12 career tackles in 28 games (two starts), with 495 of his 548 career snaps on special teams.

–The Seahawks signed cornerback Jamar Taylor, fullback Nick Bellore and guard Marcus Martin.

Taylor, 28, is a former second-round pick who has bounced around from Miami to the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos in recent years.

Bellore started four of 14 games for the Lions last year. Martin has not played in a regular-season game since 2016.

–Backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who signed with the Bills last season, has decided to retired from the NFL, the team announced Thursday.

“Derek let me know a few weeks back that he wasn’t sure if he could be committed [for the season] and wanted to still think about it,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said in a statement. “So I knew going into the draft that this was something that could potentially happen. But it wasn’t definite. We talked this week and he let me know today that he is going to retire.”

Anderson, who began his NFL career with the Browns in 2006, appeared in 78 games, completing 909 of 1,674 passes for 10,878 yards, with 60 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Read More 713 Words

Report: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

Report: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

The Miami Dolphins have will

Report: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

The Miami Dolphins have will make cornerback Xavien Howard the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $76.5 million extension, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The deal reportedly includes $46 million in guarantees and $51 million over the first three seasons. Howard, 25, was set to earn $1.3 million in 2019, the final year of a four-year, $6.12 million rookie contract.

Washington’s Josh Norman was previously the NFL’s highest-paid corner at $15 million annually, signing a five-year, $75 million deal in April 2016 after the Carolina Panthers rescinded his franchise tag. Norman’s deal included $36.5 million in guarantees.

A second-round pick (38th overall) by the Dolphins out of Baylor in 2016, Howard tied for the league lead with seven interceptions last season despite missing the final four games to injury, earning the first Pro Bowl nod of his career. He had four interceptions in 2017 and has 31 career pass breakups in 35 games (34 starts).

Various reports earlier this offseason suggested Howard could be traded for the right price, as the Dolphins entered a rebuild under new head coach Brian Flores. Instead, the new deal puts him under contract through 2024.

–Field Level Media

Read More 125 Words

Panthers offered $120M to move facility to S.C.

Panthers offered $120M to move facility to S.C.

The Carolina Panthers will receive $120 million in tax breaks if they move

Panthers offered $120M to move facility to S.C.

The Carolina Panthers will receive $120 million in tax breaks if they move their facility to South Carolina, after the state’s Senate approved a bill Thursday by a 27-15 vote.

Under the bill, which Gov. Henry McMaster is expected to sign, the Panthers would be exempt from paying state income taxes for players, coaches and other employees for 15 years, assuming that money is used toward a new complex in South Carolina.

Currently based in Charlotte, N.C., the team has been planning a 200-acre development in Rock Hill, S.C., about 25 miles south of its current facilities next to Bank of America Stadium. The development plans include expansive football facilities as part of a broader campus with hotels, shopping and restaurants.

The bill was supported by McMaster, but many senators pushed back against the idea of giving public funds to a team owned by David Tepper, whose net worth is estimated at $11.6 billion.

“We’d like to be there. Hopefully they help us out there,” Tepper told reporters Wednesday of the potential facility in Rock Hill. “But I could be with a (practice) bubble and a cafeteria in Charlotte, too. So it’s up to them.”

Now the path appears clear for the Panthers to proceed with the planned move, which is not expected until at least 2022. The team will continue to play games at Bank of America Stadium, its home since its second season in 1996.

Tepper also told reporters Wednesday he hopes to bring a Major League Soccer team to the area eventually, potentially housing it on the same campus in Rock Hill.

–Field Level Media

Read More 213 Words

Report: Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

Report: Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

The Miami Dolphins are signing former

Report: Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

The Miami Dolphins are signing former Buffalo Bills tackle Jordan Mills to a one-year, $3 million deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday.

Mills, 28, started all 48 games over the past three seasons and has appeared in 87 games with 82 starts for the Chicago Bears (2013-14) and Bills (2015-18).

Mills played 95.5 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps (1,011 total) at right tackle last season and was penalized five times — three for holding and two false starts.

He was a fifth-round draft pick by Chicago in 2013.

Mills offers veteran stability to a Miami offensive line that lost Ja’Wuan James to the Denver Broncos in free agency.

–Field Level Media

Read More 50 Words